Remy Veracrusis, Negosentro | If you’ve been living under an insecure rock for the past year or two, you might not have heard: You need to protect your endpoints. An endpoint is any device that connects to your business’s network – any device that has access to your business’s data. Even if you have an ironclad network, your endpoints could provide a backdoor into your business through which a data leak could trickle.
Fortunately, there are more than a few trustworthy endpoint control products available to help you lock your data up tight. To help you choose which endpoint security suites you need, here are the top four features that work hard to keep your business safe.
All endpoints, regardless of whether they are used for business or not, should have antivirus. Antivirus software constantly monitors the device for signs or symptoms of infection and quarantines and removes potentially threatening files. Antivirus services are becoming more and more advanced, and the most progressive solutions can predict malware attacks before users recognize anything wrong. Additionally, most antivirus products also come with antispyware capabilities, which ensure that devices are not being watched by third parties. You need to be certain that all endpoints on your network contain antivirus protection, even those owned by employees rather than the business.
There is an unfortunate widespread misunderstanding that endpoint protection only consists of antivirus software. For consumer security products, antivirus might compose the bulk of the solution, but for corporate cyber-defense, endpoint protection is a much larger and more complex suite of services, which include endpoint control and monitoring as well as scanning, firewalls, and encryption. Though antivirus protection is a vital component of endpoint security, it isn’t the be-all, end-all. In fact, effective endpoint protection includes at least the following three elements.
Save rushed-to-market Internet of Things devices, which are well-known to be insecure and require additional protections, most modern devices come out of the package with built-in firewalls – especially routers that service large networks. However, you shouldn’t trust a hardware firewall implicitly; like other forms of security software, firewalls come in various qualities, and unless you purchase testing equipment to better understand your firewall, you might not know how effective your hardware is at keeping out threats.
Endpoint security products typically come with a software firewall, which is more likely to dynamically protect your devices. Software firewalls provide protection from a greater variety of threats, including email scams and Trojan viruses, and some provide additional security features like privacy controls and web filtering on internet browsers. However, software firewalls only protect individual devices on which they are installed, so you need to be certain that your endpoint products are installed on each and every device that connects to your network – or else you will be just as insecure as you would be without any firewalls whatsoever.
Host Intrusion Prevention Systems (or HIPS for short) help businesses understand what is happening on their networks. An essential element of endpoint control, HIPS is installed on the network’s host machine and monitors the network and connected devices for signs of corruption or malicious activity. Upon identifying a potential threat, HIPS will isolate the offending application or machine and notify you or your IT team of the flagged activity.
HIPS is one of the unique and powerful features of corporate endpoint services. Because most HIPS are automated, you can save time and still be thoroughly secure. Plus, you have complete control over what apps, traffic, and devices are black- and whitelisted, so you can always be certain what is going on around your network.
Encryption is a simple but endlessly effective security feature that protects data on your network and endpoints. It works by transforming all your data into a code that can only be understood inputting a specific key; without the key, the data looks like hardly more than random characters. Though encrypting your network data is vital, you should also install full disk encryption on all your endpoints – a feature which typically comes with endpoint protection products. Encrypting your endpoints ensures that even small amounts of stray data won’t be accessible to cybercriminals.
However, there is one weakness with encryption – and all endpoint protection, and all security efforts in general: your employees. Human error is to blame for nearly two-thirds of data loss events. Thus, you should ensure your workforce is well-trained in security hygiene in addition to protecting your endpoints with strong, reliable software.